U.S. Ladies [#26]: Bell, Boots, and Camel

natsulian

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279
Alysa Liu has so much untapped potential in terms of musicality and interpretation. When Liu’s team integrates in more transitions and mask her lack of speed, her Free could potentially become something VERY special. I disagree with people who say that Alysa lacks maturity and artistic capabilities because they expect her to perform as though she’s a 21 year old veteran. People need to exercise their expectations a little bit and compare Liu to her peers... and based on what she’s put out these past two years, only a few (Kamila and Ting) surpass her. Of course, it is only in terms of extensions and well roundedness. The point is, every skater has aspects on which they excel at (jumps and spins for Alysa) and fall short on (speed and skating skills).

Furthermore, the loathing about Liu’s jumps always leans on, “She’s going to destroy herself”. As an athlete, Liu’s focus is on pushing herself forward and sometimes, much to our chagrin, that means putting her health aside. I LOVE it when people DISCUSS about her jumps, health due to her technique, etc... but I HATE it when unnecessary hate is geared towards a soon to be 14-year-old. People can discuss, but the language, in my opinion, needs to be toned down and should not be so hateful.

Admire her, question her, discuss her... but one should never attack her OR other skaters who work tirelessly to further the sport. Just my two cents on the Alysa Liu case.
 
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natsulian

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279
US Figure Skating 2019-2020 Team Envelop:

Team A - Alysa Liu, Bradie Tennell, and Mariah Bell

Team B - Starr Andrews, Ting Cui, Hanna Harrell, Megan Wessenberg, Karen Chen

Team C - Amber Glenn, Emilia Murdock, Audrey Shin, and Gabriella Izzo

Team D - Emily Zhang, Wren Warne-Jacobson, Aubrey Ignacio, Sarah Jung, Calista Choi, and Isabelle Inthisone
 

natsulian

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279
Since Emily Zhang is listed as being part of Team D, I guess this means that she is not representing China. Based on the criteria for being listed as a member, it would seem so. Thanks to Ice Coverage from GS for pointing it out.
 

Sylvia

Not yet ready for club comp. season to be underway
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Since Emily Zhang is listed as being part of Team D, I guess this means that she is not representing China.
Or it could mean she has not officially notified USFS of her plans yet.

Only time will tell... for those looking for context, Emily Zhang (J5 at 2019 U.S. Nationals) is listed for a domestic competition in China later this month, along with Beverly Zhu and Ashley Lin: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/chinese-skating-news-pt-3-a-long-winding-road-to-beijing-2022.100886/page-21#post-5600056
 
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Vagabond

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12,564
Or it could mean she has not officially notified USFS of her plans yet.

Only time will tell... for those looking for context, Emily Zhang (J5 at 2019 U.S. Nationals) is listed for a domestic competition in China later this month, along with Beverly Zhu and Ashley Lin: https://www.fsuniverse.net/forum/threads/chinese-skating-news-pt-3-a-long-winding-road-to-beijing-2022.100886/page-21#post-5600056
I wonder how this is going to unfold. It seems unlikely that China can earn as many as two spots in the Ladies competition in Beijing, but it probably won't be obvious which skater will earn that one available spot until some time during the 2021-22 season. I guess getting sent to Four Continents and Cup of China is a perk if someone is good enough to be sent by the Chinese Federation but not by USFS. :unsure:
 

barbarafan

Well-Known Member
Messages
4,159
Alysa Liu has so much untapped potential in terms of musicality and interpretation. When Liu’s team integrates in more transitions and mask her lack of speed, her Free could potentially become something VERY special. I disagree with people who say that Alysa lacks maturity and artistic capabilities because they expect her to perform as though she’s a 21 year old veteran. People need to exercise their expectations a little bit and compare Liu to her peers... and based on what she’s put out these past two years, only a few (Kamila and Ting) surpass her. Of course, it is only in terms of extensions and well roundedness. The point is, every skater has aspects on which they excel at (jumps and spins for Alysa) and fall short on (speed and skating skills).

Furthermore, the loathing about Liu’s jumps always leans on, “She’s going to destroy herself”. As an athlete, Liu’s focus is on pushing herself forward and sometimes, much to our chagrin, that means putting her health aside. I LOVE it when people DISCUSS about her jumps, health due to her technique, etc... but I HATE it when unnecessary hate is geared towards a soon to be 14-year-old. People can discuss, but the language, in my opinion, needs to be toned down and should not be so hateful.

Admire her, question her, discuss her... but one should never attack her OR other skaters who work tirelessly to further the sport. Just my two cents on the Alysa Liu case.
Seriously...if by putting her health aside I hope you do not mean not eating to keep herself tiny? The concern about her age from good people is that when she starts to mature her bones will be weak and easy to break if she does not maintain great nutrition. Her technique needs to be such that it still works as she grows. I just hope she has a great team who monitors all this. Guess what....if she gets a bad injury due to not enough strength in her joints and bones her career is finished. Sometimes pay me later does not work. As for trolls I use ignore.
 

Tavi

Well-Known Member
Messages
1,748
Alysa Liu has so much untapped potential in terms of musicality and interpretation. When Liu’s team integrates in more transitions and mask her lack of speed, her Free could potentially become something VERY special. I disagree with people who say that Alysa lacks maturity and artistic capabilities because they expect her to perform as though she’s a 21 year old veteran. People need to exercise their expectations a little bit and compare Liu to her peers... and based on what she’s put out these past two years, only a few (Kamila and Ting) surpass her. Of course, it is only in terms of extensions and well roundedness. The point is, every skater has aspects on which they excel at (jumps and spins for Alysa) and fall short on (speed and skating skills).

Furthermore, the loathing about Liu’s jumps always leans on, “She’s going to destroy herself”. As an athlete, Liu’s focus is on pushing herself forward and sometimes, much to our chagrin, that means putting her health aside. I LOVE it when people DISCUSS about her jumps, health due to her technique, etc... but I HATE it when unnecessary hate is geared towards a soon to be 14-year-old. People can discuss, but the language, in my opinion, needs to be toned down and should not be so hateful.

Admire her, question her, discuss her... but one should never attack her OR other skaters who work tirelessly to further the sport. Just my two cents on the Alysa Liu case.
I think attacking anyone and being “hateful” is generally wrong, but I don’t think Alysa should be treated with kid gloves or heaped with especial praise just because she’s a young and extremely ambitious athlete. By skating senior domestically and junior internationally, she herself has chosen to compete directly with older skaters, not with her peers.

So for me the appropriate comparison is how she stacks up against her direct competitors, regardless of age. If it’s okay to say, look, Alysa is capable of executing much harder jumps, than, say, Mariah Bell, why isn’t it also appropriate to say that Mariah has more power, better SS, more beautiful lines, or whatever?

Similarly, while it’s great to appreciate and get excited by someone’s potential, I think skaters should be judged on what they actually put out on the ice at any given time. If your focus is making a name for yourself and gaining points by executing very hard jumps - a strategy that is becoming more and more common - then you’re choosing not to focus on other things, and should be judged accordingly. JMO.
 

Tinami Amori

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17,341
I think attacking anyone and being “hateful” is generally wrong, but I don’t think Alysa should be treated with kid gloves or heaped with especial praise just because she’s a young and extremely ambitious athlete. By skating senior domestically and junior internationally, she herself has chosen to compete directly with older skaters, not with her peers.
No she should not be treated with "kid gloves".

She should be treated like a US National Champions, who can do elements that no other US girl can, who, because she is ambitious and more capable than her peers, put her peers few steps below her on the podium.
Her rank and status deserves respect. Until next US Championship she is above other girls.

So for me the appropriate comparison is how she stacks up against her direct competitors, regardless of age. If it’s okay to say, look, Alysa is capable of executing much harder jumps, than, say, Mariah Bell, why isn’t it also appropriate to say that Mariah has more power, better SS, more beautiful lines, or whatever?
Until next US Championship we already know how she stacks up again Mariah and others. She is #1 and Mariah is two steps lower. Decided by all US-judges panel.
 

Coco

Rotating while Russian!
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14,576
Until next US Championship we already know how she stacks up again Mariah and others. She is #1 and Mariah is two steps lower. Decided by all US-judges panel.
That same panel rated Mariah's components 8+ points higher in the National's free skate.

Nothing wrong with saying Bell is better at some aspects than Liu.
 

aftershocks

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Messages
15,043
Admire her, question her, discuss her... but one should never attack her OR other skaters who work tirelessly to further the sport.
I see a lot of hype, but I don't see any personal attacks. Making observations based on individual perceptions and opinions is not an attack. I don't see anyone suggesting Alysa should be skating with maturity beyond her years at this point. All skaters at each point in their development differ in their weaknesses and strengths. Commenting on Alysa's current stage of development in various aspects of her skating is not an attack.

IMO, Alysa shows grace and potential for further development aesthetically. But IMO, it's premature to posit artistic greatness in her future. Of course there's no restrictions against dreaming and hoping. My personal preference is to allow skaters to develop at their own pace, and to enjoy their journey, without heaping over-expectations and grandiose burdens upon them. It's especially helpful IMO to temper over-expectations of junior skaters, regardless of their precocity and talent. We can all get carried away with our emotions about skaters whether they are juniors or seniors, when we become enamored. But it pays to not become overly invested in outcomes. What's going to happen will unfold.

The skating community was impressed by Michelle Kwan's talent when she was a young jumping bean, but no one at that point was obsessing over her possible future record-setting greatness, much less her potential future as a dominant competitor with superb artistic chops. I would suggest relax and enjoy Alysa's career as it unfolds, rather than over-react to comments by those who you think are attacking her.
 

DreamSkates

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2,197
....

The skating community was impressed by Michelle Kwan's talent when she was a young jumping bean, but no one at that point was obsessing over her possible future record-setting greatness, much less her potential future as a dominant competitor with superb artistic chops. I would suggest relax and enjoy Alysa's career as it unfolds, rather than over-react to comments by those who you think are attacking her.
Realistically, that is all any of us can do: wait, watch. hope for the best results for our favorites, & be supportive if they don't always achieve our hopes and dreams for them.
 

Dobre

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5,214
I would add to this, though, that viewers & fans should be free to celebrate & enjoy the achievements of skaters of all ages. Keep in mind that doing so is not hype and posters have the right to celebrate those achievements. Mirai Nagasu won one senior national title. One. And she had a long, successful, and challenging career with ups & downs, achievements & struggles along the way. Should her fans have not celebrated that title? They had every right to do so. It was not hype. It was an achievement that signified an athete with talent & ability. A lot to learn, but also a lot to share.

There is hype. And two triple axels & two landed, if not fully rotated, quad lutzes are not it. If fans wish to enjoy an athlete's full career, regardless of how long it is, then now is always a good time to appreciate someone's skating.
 
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aftershocks

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15,043
I would add to this, though, that viewers & fans should be free to celebrate & enjoy the achievements of skaters of all ages. Keep in mind that doing so is not hype and posters have the right to celebrate those achievements. Mirai Nagasu won one senior national title. One. And she had a long, successful, and challenging career with ups & downs, achievements & struggles along the way. Should her fans have not celebrated that title? They had every right to do so. It was not hype. It was an achievement that signified an athete with talent & ability. A lot to learn, but also a lot to share...
I think the issue is different fans coming at this from different angles, plus there appears to be some over-sensitivity by fans who are invested in Alysa. No one is telling anyone not to celebrate and enjoy accomplishments or not to appreciate and praise what you see in a young skater. At the same time, there shouldn't be over-sensitive policing of others who are making fair observations and are not blindly in love with Alysa's talent at this stage, but are waiting to see how she develops. There's no way for us to all feel the same way. That doesn't preclude down the road more viewers becoming fans of Alysa's skating.

What I see as hype is mostly coming from the media and a kind of over-investment by U.S. fed. There's nothing wrong with championing and attentively supporting a young skater with the jumping talent that Alysa possesses. More power to her, but I think some of the expectations and touting of her abilities are a bit overdone, and there appears to be a bit of desperate latching on for dear life. U.S. fed should also focus on long term planning and development instead of putting all their eggs exclusively in one basket.

Looking back, MK, as I said was a cute jumping bean, but the sport was different then. There were admirers, but the expectations were not overdone. MK was expected to slowly improve and accordingly even when she outperformed older skaters, she was made to wait her turn. I am not saying that approach works well, nor that it ever did. Situations evolve and that's a good thing. The issue is that because of MK's rare and out-sized success, every time there's a U.S. lady with unique jumping talent, especially combined with competitiveness and graceful assets, U.S. fed latches on expecting another MK to be launched.

That's not the way things work. Piling those MK expectations on Mirai whose talent and personality were extraordinary, yet different from MK's, is what nearly deep-sixed Mirai's career before she could find her bearings and her own unique identity as a skater and a person. Gracie Gold, despite being slightly older when the hype over her talent began, apparently became swamped by the expectations, which frankly pulled her out of touch with herself. That's not to say everyone will experience over-expectations the same way. But cautionary tale after cautionary tale in this sport seems to be disregarded and put out of mind by TPTB.

It follows that Alysa's personality and background are different from Mirai's, from Gracie's, and from MK's. Alysa's career trajectory will be different too, not the least because the iinternational ladies field is deeper and more talented today than it ever was. It's difficult to make definitive pronouncements. That's why I cringe at some of the simplistic 'done deal' type of articles that have been written about Alysa. I think there's a better, less hype-driven way of covering talented phenoms who are still growing and learning. At this point, Alysa seems to have a strong, confident personality, which should bode well for her future. Let's be reminded though that everyone has to go through challenges. No one escapes adversity in this sport. And in those difficult moments for skaters, that's the test for fans. Are fans gonna be fair weather or supportive, no matter what may come?

It's great and marvelous that Alysa is keeping up with other young jumping phenoms by successfully competing quads and triple axels. But when she URs, the judges do need to call the URs, instead of blinking and ignoring them because, 'oh wow, isn't she amazing!' :fan:
 

aftershocks

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15,043
Mirai Nagasu won one senior national title. One. And she had a long, successful, and challenging career with ups & downs, achievements & struggles along the way. Should her fans have not celebrated that title?
Personally, I barely knew anything about Mirai Nagasu when she won her first national championship in 2008. Mirai's fan base began to steadily grow and increased rapidly during the 2010 Olympics and thereafter. Mirai and Caroline Zhang had of course been over-exposed and over-touted when they went 1-2 as juniors at 2007 U.S. Nationals. TPTB seemed giddy about possibly having two, 'count 'em two' potential MK-level talents coming up to 'automatically' take Kween's place. :swoon: :drama: US fed and fans were completely spoiled during and immediately after the MK era (before the full effects of political backlash and greater international competitive depth set in). Thus, blind over-estimation of future prospects repeatedly ensued. Caroline Zhang's technique problems were not fully addressed. Zhang experienced a bit of success on the senior GP out-of-the-gate, on the basis of her out-of-this-world layback spins, and her grace on ice. However, Zhang lacked speed and she needed tech help, particularly on her lutz. Subsequently, Zhang began to experience bad luck and back injuries. Her star began to fall before it had effectively risen.

Looking back, it is what it is, and nothing can be changed. Perhaps it was Mirai's destiny to overcome struggles rather than slowly building to her full potential. Maybe it was okay for her to win it all only once as a young teenager. But I can't help reflecting that perhaps she might have won more championships nationally and internationally had she been allowed to make the podium in second or third place domestically in 2008, and then build slowly rather than winning gold and having to live up to the win at such a young age. OTOH, it was a wonderful performance so why not? I was slightly against her winning gold at the time, even while I tremendously admired her talent. Anyway at this juncture, I have more information and thus a greater perspective of Mirai's career and her personality.

In 2008, even though I appreciated that Mirai had blazing talent, I still felt it was premature to reward her with the gold medal at U.S. Nationals. I think her emotional maturity was not at the level it needed to be for her to cope with such an overwhelming win. That was proven to be the case, but I was thinking more at the time that Mirai simply needed time to grow and to gain more competitive experience before having to live up to such high expectations. She did not skate perfectly, but it was a wonderful performance. Still, there were areas she needed to work on. Making the podium in second or third place might have given her more breathing room to develop at her own pace, instead of her feeling undue pressure to live up to her national championship. After winning in 2008 and not being able to go to senior Worlds, it all seemed to be too much for Mirai the following season. She did win a bronze at junior Worlds in 2008, but she faced lots of road blocks thereafter, some self-imposed.

That said, my opinion is that cliches, hype, and over-expectations are no one's friends in the sport of figure skating.
 

Japanfan

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21,197
Furthermore, the loathing about Liu’s jumps always leans on, “She’s going to destroy herself”. As an athlete, Liu’s focus is on pushing herself forward and sometimes, much to our chagrin, that means putting her health aside.
I think it's entirely wrong and inappropriate for an adult to ever suggest that an athlete puts her or his health aside.

Seriously...if by putting her health aside I hope you do not mean not eating to keep herself tiny? The concern about her age from good people is that when she starts to mature her bones will be weak and easy to break if she does not maintain great nutrition. Her technique needs to be such that it still works as she grows. I just hope she has a great team who monitors all this. Guess what....if she gets a bad injury due to not enough strength in her joints and bones her career is finished. Sometimes pay me later does not work. As for trolls I use ignore.
Eating to stay tiny and perhaps delay puberty is the first thing that 'put health aside' brings to mind.

FS is already rife with EDs, or disordered eating. The issue needs to be addressed and combatted, not encouraged.
 

natsulian

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279
I think it's entirely wrong and inappropriate for an adult to ever suggest that an athlete puts her or his health aside.



Eating to stay tiny and perhaps delay puberty is the first thing that 'put health aside' brings to mind.

FS is already rife with EDs, or disordered eating. The issue needs to be addressed and combatted, not encouraged.
I apologize for the awkward verbiage... by putting one’s health aside, I meant risking injury by incorporating two 4Lz’s and 3A’s. I absolutely concur that disorders and issues concerning body image and disorders of the sort NEED to be addressed first and foremost. I do apologize for my words.

P.S. - I am not an adult yet (I just turned 16).
 

scooter

Active Member
Messages
33
Natsulian, the ED issue is epidemic in our sport. My own 16 year old struggled with BED for 2 years before we put her on medication for it, which really helped. What did not help was her Russian choreographer constantly telling her she was 'too fat'. I understand that she comes from being the Russian National Champion in ice dance, where she was publicly weighed at the rink on a daily basis by Tarasova with the girl's weights posted on the bulletin board, but this is America. She finally raised up at me one time to many and threatened me with 'Maybe I wont waste my time working with her', and I said that's a fine idea and walked out of the rink. Some coaches are only interested in results and do not stop to consider the health, physical or mental of these young kids. Years ago around the time she became Russian Champion, Ksenia Makarova would train at our rink. When she went to Galina Zmievskaya, she got so thin that her hair started falling out. Then the career ending hip injury came. I fully believe that the ED thinned her bones.
 
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layman

Well-Known Member
Messages
161
What I see as hype is mostly coming from the media and a kind of over-investment by U.S. fed. There's nothing wrong with championing and attentively supporting a young skater with the jumping talent that Alysa possesses. More power to her, but I think some of the expectations and touting of her abilities are a bit overdone, and there appears to be a bit of desperate latching on for dear life. U.S. fed should also focus on long term planning and development instead of putting all their eggs exclusively in one basket.

It's great and marvelous that Alysa is keeping up with other young jumping phenoms by successfully competing quads and triple axels. But when she URs, the judges do need to call the URs, instead of blinking and ignoring them because, 'oh wow, isn't she amazing!' :fan:
I tend to agree that the (post MK) hype machine has been very damaging to athletes. It hurt Sasha Cohen. It hurt Kimmie Meissner (she said in a recent interview that the fed pressured her to skate while injured). It hurt Caroline Zhang, Mirai Nagasu and Gracie Gold too.

Meanwhile, the fed and the media ignore athletes like Ashley Wagner (who never got the hype, even though she won 3 Golds, 1 Silver, and 3 Bronze medals at US Nationals), Rachel Flatt (1 Gold, 3 Silvers), Agnes Zawadski (2 Bronze), and Mariah Bell (2 Bronze). Being ignored hurts too, because it denies these athletes the funding they need. The fed always put all their eggs in one basket. It's like they don't believe in hyping more than one athlete at a time (to the detriment of the team). Imagine if US Gymnastics had done the same thing.
 
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Coco

Rotating while Russian!
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14,576
USA Gymnastics used to do the same thing with similar results. I don't think hype played a significant role in the "new Mary Lou" inevitably not living up to expectations, because the expectations were never realistic to begin with. But there were several letdowns that brought negative coverage simply because expectations and hype were not in touch with reality.

Then at some point, they realized it would be way less traumatic for all involved if they promoted the team instead of pinning all their hopes and marketing efforts on one kid. This didn't happen, though, until their team was competitive for the team gold.

As gymnastics has an actual team competition that is as prestigious as the individual events, (you need to participate in the team competition to qualify for the individual events), this comparison isn't entirely perfect. But USFSA should at least give it a try. Maybe release trading cards every fall with all the seniors on the GP, or promote them as a group in some way. People love following brackets and tournaments and fantasy leagues. The GP Series is tailor made for that. There is a lot that could be done if they focus on the sport or the team vs. one individual.
 
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Jarrett

Go Mirai!
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2,915
I tend to agree that the (post MK) hype machine has been very damaging to athletes. It hurt Sasha Cohen. It hurt Kimmie Meissner (she said in a recent interview that the fed pressured her to skate while injured). It hurt Caroline Zhang, Mirai Nagasu and Gracie Gold too.

Meanwhile, the fed and the media ignore athletes like Ashley Wagner (who never got the hype, even though she won 3 Golds, 1 Silver, and 3 Bronze medals at US Nationals), Rachel Flatt (1 Gold, 3 Silvers), Agnes Zawadski (2 Bronze), and Mariah Bell (2 Bronze). Being ignored hurts too, because it denies these athletes the funding they need. The fed always put all their eggs in one basket. It's like they don't believe in hyping more than one athlete at a time (to the detriment of the team). Imagine if US Gymnastics had done the same thing.
How would you say the fed ignored Wagner, Flatt, Zawadski and Bell? Agnes if anything was given high placements with falls over clean skaters. I would say literally all of those skaters were extremely hyped by the federation with chances on the grand Prix and time at press events. The media on the other hand I would say follows the fans and I don't think any of those skaters had a story for the them to follow.
 
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gkelly

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14,521
Yes, when discussing "hype" it's important to distinguish between what's coming from the federation, what from the media, and what from fans.

And maybe from which fans and which media.

If we're talking about what kind of pressure is put on the skaters, we'd have to know whether they are aware of what fans and media are saying about them.
 

Maximillian

TSDPFTBOTBOL! Those who know, know
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4,403
USA Gymnastics used to do the same thing with similar results. I don't think hype played a significant role in the "new Mary Lou" inevitably not living up to expectations, because the expectations were never realistic to begin with. But there were several letdowns that brought negative coverage simply because expectations and hype were not in touch with reality.

Then at some point, they realized it would be way less traumatic for all involved if they promoted the team instead of pinning all their hopes and marketing efforts on one kid. This didn't happen, though, until their team was competitive for the team gold.

As gymnastics has an actual team competition that is as prestigious as the individual events, (you need to participate in the team competition to qualify for the individual events), this comparison isn't entirely perfect. But USFSA should at least give it a try. Maybe release trading cards every fall with all the seniors on the GP, or promote them as a group in some way. People love following brackets and tournaments and fantasy leagues. The GP Series is tailor made for that. There is a lot that could be done if they focus on the sport or the team vs. one individual.
Actually, USA Gymnastics wound up promoting a team, only because they won (1996 and the MAG 7) even after that it went right back to promoting individual stars, i.e. Vanessa Atler. Before 1996 it went from Mary Lou, to Kristie Phillips in '85-'88 quad, then Kim Zmeskal in the '89-'92 quad, then Moceanu in the '93-'96 quad being hyped to the rafters. It was actually Marta Karolyi's emphasis on the importance of the team and moving the U.S. toward a more centralised system with camps etc. that U.S. Gym started focusing on the team event as first priority.
 

kwanfan1818

I <3 Kozuka
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31,458
But USFSA should at least give it a try. Maybe release trading cards every fall with all the seniors on the GP, or promote them as a group in some way. People love following brackets and tournaments and fantasy leagues. The GP Series is tailor made for that. There is a lot that could be done if they focus on the sport or the team vs. one individual.
I agree. One of the fun parts of the old ESPN figure skating discussion board was our fantasy league.
 

SkateFanBerlin

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Messages
603
Who would you say the fed ignored Wagner, Flatt, Zawadski and Bell? Agnes if anything was given high placements with falls over clean skaters. I would say literally all of those skaters were extremely hyped by the federation with chances on the grand Prix and time at press events. The media on the other hand I would say follows the fans and I don't think any of those skaters had a story for the them to follow.
The hype on Gracie was ridiculous; the girl never had a chance. As time goes on I so admire how Ashley handled her career. Heads down, made progress. Voila! world medal.
 

Tinami Amori

Well-Known Member
Messages
17,341
Natsulian, the ED issue is epidemic in our sport. My own 16 year old struggled with BED for 2 years before we put her on medication for it, which really helped. What did not help was her Russian choreographer constantly telling her she was 'too fat'. I understand that she comes from being the Russian National Champion in ice dance, where she was publicly weighed at the rink on a daily basis by Tarasova with the girl's weights posted on the bulletin board, but this is America. She finally raised up at me one time to many and threatened me with 'Maybe I wont waste my time working with her', and I said that's a fine idea and walked out of the rink.
And you did the right thing, and you're both right. She has her goals and methods (that did not break any laws), and you/daughter have your own goals and did not agree with her methods. You parted your ways, she will seek students who agree with her, and you will seek instructors that suit your view of training. Good for both of you!

Some coaches are only interested in results and do not stop to consider the health, physical or mental of these young kids.
Coaches are not social workers, they have ambitions and careers, it's their business.

There are coaches who teach kids who skate as a hobby or recreation; and there are coaches who coach skaters for top results, wanted to skaters themselves. It's up to the coach to decide if Skater-A is worth her time and/or "champion material", and it is up to Skater-A/parents to chose their path, goals, coaches.

If she was not doing/offering something illegal, or "forcing your child" vs. "suggesting" or giving her opinion, she is within her rights, and you're within your rights to accept or not to accept. America is not USSR - it's a free country... ;)

Years ago around the time she became Russian Champion, Ksenia Makarova would train at our rink. When she went to Galina Zmievskaya, she got so thin that her hair started falling out. Then the career ending hip injury came. I fully believe that the ED thinned her bones.
Ksenia Makarova left Galina/Viktor (her managing coach) in 2011, she sustained her injury while she was trained by Rukavitzin in St. Peter, two years later in 2013.

Her father is a well known international level figure skater himself, Oleg Makarov. He participated in his daughter's training, was her first coach with his wife, and worked close with Galina. He would have noticed any abuse or health issues of his daughter, if there was any.

Ksenia switched to Rukavitzin because she, at the time, wanted to live in St. Petersburg, not in USA, and Viktor could not stay with her in Russia. Ksenia and her parents decided it is too hard to travel across the ocean and thus the coaching change. There were no issues, problems or disagreements between them.

"Всё предельно просто: Виктор Васильевич не мог остаться здесь, в России. А до чемпионата Европы остаётся мало времени. Я же не хотела возвращаться в Америку, чтобы там акклиматизироваться, а потом ехать обратно сюда и вновь акклиматизироваться… Поэтому мы с родителями поговорили и решили остаться здесь, а Виктор Васильевич остаться не мог… Вот так вот всё и получилось."

In her own words, she did not want to go through another Olympic cycle, because at the time she wanted to go to college/university to major in "forensics and criminology", which she did.
 

Japanfan

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21,197
Coaches are not social workers, they have ambitions and careers, it's their business.

There are coaches who teach kids who skate as a hobby or recreation; and there are coaches who coach skaters for top results, wanted to skaters themselves. It's up to the coach to decide if Skater-A is worth her time and/or "champion material", and it is up to Skater-A/parents to chose their path, goals, coaches.

If she was not doing/offering something illegal, or "forcing your child" vs. "suggesting" or giving her opinion, she is within her rights, and you're within your rights to accept or not to accept. America is not USSR - it's a free country... ;)
Coaches also have a responsibility to look out for the welfare/well-being of their athletes. Or should have. Although unfortunately that welfare/well-being can sometimes conflict with performance (i.e. a skater might jump better if they diet to maintain a weight that is not natural). Coaches than have to strike a balance between the two, and sometimes choose performance, in which case the athlete may pay for it.

And coaches do have a lot of power over athletes in America. Hence their responsibility to look out for the welfare/well-being of their athletes.
 

Tinami Amori

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17,341
Coaches also have a responsibility to look out for the welfare/well-being of their athletes.
Both coaches, and students, have responsibilities and obligations towards one another, if and when they have a "meeting of the minds" on how to train, what the goals are, and how to achieve them.

If one of the party has expectations, and the other party can't or won't meet them, they part.

If a coach says "my goals with you are A, and my expectations are B, or we will not work together" it is up to the student to decide to pursue or not to pursue this partnership.

If a student states "my goals are A, and i am willing to do B, or we will not work together" it is up to the coach to decide to pursue or not to pursue this partnership.

Both are free agents.

And coaches do have a lot of power over athletes in America. Hence their responsibility to look out for the welfare/well-being of their athletes.
No one, except police, legal system, tax authorities and your parents (if one is under-aged), has power over anyone. It's all in people's heads, how much they give up their freedom or willing to accept "power" from another.
 

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